Is this Australia’s finest rosé? In spite of the relentless proliferation of rosé on the market, Peter Schell's wine—now into its second decade of production—keeps coming up roses. Reflecting an exceptionally low yielding vintage—Schell’s dry grown vineyards offering just 15-20% of average—the composition of the ’20 rosé weighs in with Mataro (59%) Grenache (35%), and Cinsault (6%). The dominance of Mataro this year reflects both the quality and this variety's late-flowering nature (which avoided the dramatic weather at flowering that hampered the other varieties). The vines are all dry-grown on Barossa vineyards, “mainly bush vines, all hand-picked—old school,” chuckles Pete. The average age of vines is 65 years old although the oldest parcels range up to 120 years.
Crushed bunches were macerated for between six and 24-hours before pressing. The wine was fermented in tank with indigenous yeasts, with five per cent fermented and matured in old French oak demi-muids. It was matured on lees prior to being bottled without filtration. The resulting wine offers the kind of vibrant perfume (of red fruit, nectarine and white flowers), texture and crunchy line that were once the exclusive domaine of Provençal rosé.